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Dil Khatri

Dil Khatri
PhD in Rural Development and MA in Development Studies. Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development.


I hold a doctoral degree in Rural Development from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2018), Uppsala, Sweden focusing on the interface of international climate agenda and community forestry in Nepal. I did my masters degree in Development Studies from the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS), The Hague. I also lead a Kathmandu-based research organizaiton called Southasia Institue of Advanced Studies (SIAS) as Executive Director. After completion of my PhD in 2018, I worked as a post-doc researcher for two years (2020-2021) and working as a researcher since january 2022. 

My earlier work with ForestAction (a Kathmandu-based research organizaiton) was related to policy-oriented research on forest and climate change. Before joining ForestAction in 2010, I  had worked as a development practitioner on community forestry and rural livelihoods. 


I have been teaching a number of courses under the international masters program of 'Rural Development and Natural Resources Management'. The courses I have been teaching include: Governance of Natural Resources (LU0093); International Rural Development (LU0086); and Global Food Systems and Food Security (LU0092). 


My researche focus has been on the broader themes related to environmental governance and natural resources management with a specific focus on decentralized forest governance, changing forest-people relations, mountain livelihoods and wellbeing, and climate change adaptation. Geographical focus of my work has been on the Himalaya. Theoretically, my works are informed by the interrelation between knowledge, power and access/control in resources. 

Currently, I am part of a number of research projects as following. 

1. Co-PI in the Swedish Research Council (VR) funded project (2020-2024) entitled 'The practice of resilience in mountain landscapes: exploring risk and landscape investments in rural Nepal'. This research funded unter the 'sustainability and resilience' special call investigates Nepalese smallholders’ adaptive capacity in the context of chronic structural risk generated by climate change and deeper socio-political factors as practiced and reflected in long-term landscape investments in mountain landscapes.

2. Co-PI in the Swedish Research Council (VR) funded project (2020-2024) led by Prof Andrea Nightingale entitled 'Governing Climate Resilient Futures: gender, justice and conflict resolution in resource management'. The research funded under the 'sustainability and resilience' explores the question of 'How can new,- fair and inclusive- mechanisms of conflict resolution on forest and water resources be fostered to build resilience in the face of climatic changes?'. The project draws cases from Nepal, Kenya and Nicaragua. 

3. Co-PI in the Swedish Research Council (VR) funded project (2019-2024) called INSA (Institutional networks and self-organized adaptation: Tracing the democratic architectures of climate response). The research the question of What is the role of democratic politics in enabling vulnerable groups to confront climate challenges — and what characteristics of a democratic political system generate more effective and equitable state support?. This is comparative research between the Nepalese mountains and the western Himalayas (Himachal) of India. 

4. PI in Formas funded project (2023-2026) called WildPests (Wild animals - biodiversity or pest? Creating local dialogues for dealing with farming wildlife conflicts in rural Himalayan landscapes). This action research project will investigate wildlife encroachments as an unintended negative local consequence of forest recovery and explore policy and practical measures to address this problem faced by Himalayan communities.

5. Co-PI in the Swedish Research Council funded project (2023-2026) called ComPlant (Building synergies between biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and rural prosperity through community forest governance). Comparative research between Indian western Himalayas (Himachal) and Nepalese mountains investigates the quesiton of how, and under what conditions, can
community forest governance lead to improvements in human well-being, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity from forest restoration? 

I am currently serving as the chief editor of the New Angle (Nepalese Journal of Social Science and Public Policy).


Most of my researches are collaborative projects between the Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU and the Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), a Kathmandu-based think tank. So, in addition to contributing to the knowledge my work also contributes to building research capacity in SIAS and other institutions in Nepal and India.  


I have supervised about a dozen masters students. I am planning to co-supervise two PhD students (starting in 2023 fall). I am also part of the supervision team for Kamal Devkota (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Mahendra Thapa (Tribhuvan University, Nepal). 

Selected publications

Selected peer-review articles: 

Khatri, D.B.; Marquardt, K.M.; Fischer, H.; Khatri, S.; Singh, D.; and Poudel, D.P. (2023). Why is farming important for rural livelihood security in the Global South? COVID-19 and changing rural livelihoods in Nepal’s mid-hills. Front. Hum. Dyn. Sec. Environment, Politics and Society, 5. doi: 10.3389/fhumd.2023.1143700 

Khatri, D. B., Nightingale, A. J., Ojha, H., Maskey, G., & Lama ‘Tsumpa’, P. N. (2022). Multi-scale politics in climate change: the mismatch of authority and capability in federalizing Nepal. Climate policy, 1-13.

Khatri, D., Paudel, D., Pain, A., Marquardt, K. and Khatri, S. . (2022). Reterritorialization of Community Forestry: Scientific Forest Management in the Terai and Chure Region of Nepal. Political Ecology. 

Ojha, H.; Nightingale, N.; Gonda,  Noémi; Muok, Ben; Eriksen, Siri; Khatri, D. and Paudel, D. (forthcoming in Sustainability Science). Deliberate Transformation of Environmental Governance in the Global South: Critical Action Intellectuals and Fields of Possibilities. 

Ojha, H.; Khatri, D. Shrestha, K.K.; Adhikari, B.; and Pokharel, K. (2022). . Living with the landslide: Investigating institutional limits to adaptation in the Nepal Himalayas. New Angle: Nepalese Journal for Social Science and Public Policy) . 

Gupta, D., Fischer, H., Shrestha, S., Shoaib Ali, S., Chhatre, A., Devkota, K., Khatri, D.B., Rana, P. (2021). Dark and bright spots in the shadow of the pandemic: Rural livelihoods, social vulnerability, and local governance in India and Nepal. World Development, 141, 105370. doi:

Eriksen, S., Schipper, E. L. F., Scoville-Simonds, M., Vincent, K., Adam, H. N., Brooks, N., Khatri, D.B. . . . West, J. J. (2021). Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance? World Development, 141, 105383. doi:

Pain, A., Marquardt, K. and Khatri, D. (2020) Secondary Forests and agrarian transitions: insights from Nepal and Peru. Human Ecology 49: 249-258.

Marquardt, K., Pain, A., & Khatri, D. B. (2020). Re-reading Nepalese landscapes: labour, water, farming patches and trees. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 29(4), 238-259. doi:10.1080/14728028.2020.1814875

Ojha, H., Neupane, K. R., Khatri, D., Devkota, K., Maskey, G., Dahal, N., . . . Kovacs, E. K. (2020). Urban water security in South Asia: Crucial policy lessons from the Nepalese town of Bidur. World Water Policy 6(2), 259-266. doi:

Fleischman, F., Basant, S., Chhatre, A., Coleman, E. A., Fischer, H. W., Gupta, D., Khatri, D.B. . . . Veldman, J. W. (2020). Pitfalls of Tree Planting Show Why We Need People-Centered Natural Climate Solutions. BioScience, 70(11), 947-950. doi:10.1093/biosci/biaa094 %J BioScience

Pandey, C.L., Khatri, D.B. and Ojha, H.R., 2020. Editorial Introduction: Understanding Water Insecurity in South Asia. New Angle: Nepal journal of social science and public policy, 6(1), pp.1-8.

Ojha, H., Maraseni, T., Nightingale, A., Bhattarai, B., & Khatri, D. (2019). Rescuing forests from the carbon trap. Forest Policy and Economics, 101, 15-18. doi:

Leder, S., Khatri, D. and Ojha, H., 2019. Water security and inclusive water governance in the Himalayas (editorial introduction). The New Angle: Nepal J. Soc. Sci. Public Policy, 5(1): 1-6.

Devkota, K., Khatri, D. and Neupane, K.R., 2018. Water conflicts in urbanizing regions in the Himalaya: Case studies from Dhulikhel and Bidur in Nepal. The New Angles, 5. 

Khatri, D.B., Marquardt, K., Pain, A. & Ojha, H. 2018. Shifting regimes of management and uses of forests: What might REDD+ implementation mean for community forestry? Evidence from Nepal. Forest Policy and Economics (in press).

Khatri, D., K. Shrestha, H. Ojha, G. Paudel, N. Paudel & A. Pain 2017. Reframing community forest governance for food security in Nepal. Environmental Conservation, 44(2): 174-182. 

Khatri, D.B., Pham, T.T., Di Gregorio, M., Karki, R., Paudel, N.S., Brockhaus, M. and Bhushal, R., 2016. REDD+ politics in the media: a case from Nepal. Climatic Change, 138(1-2): 309-323.

Marquardt, K., Khatri, D.B. and Pain, A., 2016. REDD+, forest transition, agrarian change and ecosystem services in the hills of Nepal. Human Ecology, 44(2): 229-244.

Ojha, H.R., Khatri, D.B., Shrestha, K.K., Bhattarai, B., Baral, J.C., Basnett, B.S., Goutam, K., Sunam, R., Banjade, M.R., Jana, S. and Bushley, B., 2016. Can Evidence and Voice Influence Policy? A Critical Assessment of Nepal's Forestry Sector Strategy, 2014. Society & Natural Resources, 29 (3): 357-373.

Ojha, H.R., Ghimire, S., Pain, A., Nightingale, A., Khatri, D.B. and Dhungana, H., 2016. Policy without politics: technocratic control of climate change adaptation policy making in Nepal. Climate Policy, 16(4): 415-433.

Ojha, H., D. Khatri, K. K. Shrestha, B. Bushley and N. Sharma 2013. Carbon, community and governance: is Nepal getting ready for REDD+? Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 22(4): 216-229.

Ojha, H., Sharma, N.S., Khatri, D.B. and BK, D. 2012. Can policy learning be catalyzed? Ban Chautari Experiment in Nepal’s Forestry Sector. Journal of Forest and Livelihoods, 10 (1): 1-27.

 Kamal Devkota, Dil Khatri, Kaustuv Raj Neupane, Rachana Upadhyaya, Suchita Shrestha, and Hemant Ojha (2021). Pani Chautari: A Facilitation Guidebook for Evidence Informed Dialogue on Urban Water Issues. Southasia Institute of Advances Studies, Kathmandu. 

Khatri, D., Neupane, K.R. and Devkota, K. (2021) (eds).  Dhulikhel’s Journey towards Water Security: Insights from policy and practice. Southasia Institute of Advanced studies and Dhulikhel Muniipality, Kathmandu. 

Khatri, D. (2018). Climate and development at the third pole: dynamics of power and knowledge reshaping community forest governance in Nepal. PhD Dissertation, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden. 

Khatri, D. B. (2009). Compromising the Environment in Payments for Environmental Services? Master thesis, Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Popular science (Policy briefs and media articles/OPED) 

Ojhaa, H., Neupane, K.R., Khatri, D., Devkota, K., Dahal, N., Joshi, T., and Kovácsc, E.K. 2020. Water security in times of disaster risks. Policy perspectives on climate and development in South Asia. 

Devkota, K., Upadhyaya, R. and Khatri, D.B. 2020. Challenges and Opportunities of Local Governments in and after the Pandemic. New Spotlight. 

Khatri, D.B. 2019. Emerging issues in Scientific Forest Management (SFM). SIAS blogpost. 

2016 (with Kamal Devkota). Local bodies in limbo. 

2016 (with Ojha, H.) Talking about trading. An OPED in the Kathmandu Post. 

Pain, A., Khatri, D.B., Ojha, H., Adkhkari, B. Joshi, T., Dhungana, H. and Gurung N. 20015. Responding to Landslides in Nepal. ForestAction policy brief 38. Kathmandu, ForestAction Nepal

Paudel, N.S., Paudel, G., Karki, R., and Khatri, D.B., 2014, Revenue and employment opportunities from timber management in Nepal's community forests, Policy Brief No. 29, ForestAction Nepal.

Khatri, D.B., Paudel, N.S. and Karki, R. 2013, Challenges of community-based adaptation initiatives in Nepal, Policy Brief No. 27, ForestAction Nepal

Khatri D.B. and Paudel N.S. and Bhushal, R. 2014. Only money talks: how REDD+ discourses in the Nepalese media overlook the politics of policymaking and governance. CIFOR Infobrief no. 73. Center for International Forestry Research. 

Khatri, D.B., Bista, R. and Paudel N.S. 2012. Timber Enterprises and National Economy: Existing hurdles of timber trade from CF. Policy brief series 21. ForestAction Nepal. 

Paudel, N.S., Khatri, D.B., Ojha, H., Luintel, H.S. and Banjade, M.R. 2012. Forest Act Amendment Proposal: Analysis and Suggestion. Policy Note Series 2012:1

Khanal, D.R., Paudel, G., Paudel, D. and Khatri, D.B. 2011. Micro-enterprise Based on Forest Product: Existing Policy, Obstacles and Alternatives (in Nepali). Policy Brief Series 24. ForestAction Nepal. 


For more information, please see my Google Scholar Profile.  


Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development; Division of Rural Development
Telephone: +46761250595
Postal address:
Inst för stad och land, Box 7012
Visiting address: Ulls väg 27, Uppsala